Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has filed suit against Montana over an employee charitable gift fund.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Christian-based organization. ADF attorney Jonathan Scruggs tells OneNewsNow that state employees can have money withheld from their paychecks and given to any on a list of qualifying organizations such as NARAL and the ACLU.
“…[O]ur client is the Montana Family Foundation (MFF), and they applied to participate in this program and to be able to receive donations from state employees,” Scruggs explains. “But they were turned down because there is a rule in the eligibility requirements that says you cannot be essentially pervasively sectarian. You can’t be too religious.”
Even though MFF’s mission is “supporting, protecting, and strengthening Montana families,” the organization was denied participation in the program on the grounds of its “sectarian activities.” The ADF attorney argues that that is viewpoint discrimination.
“It singles out religious groups and pervasively sectarian religious groups, prevents them from participating in the campaign, but allows a wide variety of other groups to participate,” he adds.
The Montana Family Foundation is seeking a state requirement providing a level playing field, and they are hoping to establish equal footing with other organizations.